Quantum Selections, Propensities and the Problem of Measurement

This paper expands on, and provides a qualified defence of, Arthur Fine's selective interactions solution to the measurement problem. Fine's approach must be understood against the background of the insolubility proof of the quantum measurement. I first defend the proof as an appropriate formal representation of the quantum measurement problem. The nature of selective interactions, and more generally selections, is then clarified, and three arguments in their favour are offered. First, selections provide the only known solution to the measurement problem that does not relinquish any of the explicit premises of the insolubility proofs. Second, unlike some no-collapse interpretations of quantum mechanics, selections suffer no difficulties with non-ideal measurements. Third, unlike most collapse interpretations, selections can be independently motivated by an appeal to quantum propensities. IntroductionThe problem of quantum measurement2.1 The ignorance interpretation of mixtures2.2 The eigenstate–eigenvalue link2.3 The quantum theory of measurementThe insolubility proof of the quantum measurement3.1 Some notation3.2 The transfer of probability condition (TPC)3.3 The occurrence of outcomes condition (OOC)A defence of the insolubility proof4.1 Stein's critique4.2 Ignorance is not required4.3 The problem of quantum measurement is an idealisationSelections5.1 Representing dispositional properties5.2 Selections solve the measurement problem5.3 Selections and ignoranceNon-ideal selections6.1 No-collapse interpretations and non-ideal measurements6.2 Exact and approximate measurements6.3 Selections for non-ideal interactions6.4 Approximate selections6.5 Implications for ignoranceSelective interactions test quantum propensities7.1 Equivalence classes as physical ‘aspects’: a critique7.2 Quantum dispositions7.3 Selections as a propensity modal interpretation7.4 A comparison with Popper's propensity interpretation
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/bjps/55.2.219
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 22,062
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Mauro Dorato & Michael Esfeld (2010). GRW as an Ontology of Dispositions. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 41 (1):41-49.
Albert Sol? (2013). Bohmian Mechanics Without Wave Function Ontology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 44 (4):365-378.
Mauricio Suárez (2007). Quantum Propensities. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 38 (2):418-438.
Mauricio Suárez (2007). Quantum Propensities. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 38 (2):418-438.

View all 12 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Mauricio Suárez (2004). Quantum Selections, Propensities and the Problem of Measurement. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (2):219 - 255.
Mauricio Suárez (2007). Quantum Propensities. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 38 (2):418-438.
Jeffrey Bub (1988). From Micro to Macro: A Solution to the Measurement Problem of Quantum Mechanics. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:134 - 144.
Amit Hagar (2005). Quantum Information - What Price Realism? Intl. J. Of Quantum Information 3 (1):165-170.
Manuel Bächtold (2008). Five Formulations of the Quantum Measurement Problem in the Frame of the Standard Interpretation. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 39 (1):17 - 33.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

80 ( #55,949 of 1,934,580 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

9 ( #58,753 of 1,934,580 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.